An economics graduate with a MSc in Business Planning and Corporate Strategy, Dennis completed a graduate apprenticeship with Rolls Royce and began a management career in the manufacturing and engineering industries. He is currently Chairman of four companies operating in manufacturing, printing, education and business services.
As Head of Sales and Marketing at Simon Engineering, he doubled the global sales of the renowned Simon Snorkel fire engine, winning a Queens Award and, in 1977, was appointed by TI Group, a FTSE 100 company, to lead the re-structuring programme for the £300 million Steel Tube Division. A number of acquisitions raised the value of the Division’s commodity base.
In 1980, Dennis joined Tucker Fasteners, a subsidiary of Emhart Black & Decker where, over the next eight years, he improved the global sales and profitability of the £200 million POP Rivet Division.
He left to join Foseco plc, a FTSE 250 company, as a General Manager where he focused its Universal Grinding Wheel business on strong market leadership in turbine blade, crankshaft, camshaft and hypodermic needle manufacture.
In 1993, Dennis was appointed Managing Director of Hamilton Acorn Limited, the world’s oldest paint brush maker, and led the Management Buy Out in 1996. Hamilton Acorn was named Barclays Business of the Year in 1998 and won a Management Today Best Factory Award in 2000. Widely recognised for creating a world class business, and the subject of a Best Practice Case Study at Cranfield University School of Management, Dennis sold the company to Europe’s largest brush maker in 2001. He remained as Managing Director until 2003.
He has held several Non-Executive positions in both the public and private sectors. From 2000 – 2005, Dennis was Chairman of Business Link Norfolk. He led the UK Trade Delegation to Scandinavia in 2002 with The Minister for Enterprise and Overseas Trade, for whom he was a business advisor, and provided “hands on” leadership for most of 2003 following the sudden death of the Chief Executive. He was a business advisor to The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England from 1998 – 2006 and served as a Non-Executive Director with The Learning and Skills Council (2000 – 2002) and Business Link West Midlands (2005 – 2008).
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